Going over the top with inflatable flamingos!

Life is full of pitfalls. The afternoon sun glints brightly on the water and the airbed rocks gently on the swell of the swimming pool – but where on earth can the lady rest her mouth-watering raspberry wine slushie? Later on in the evening, she sits at the bar and strikes up a conversation with a handsome young man. Things go well, but they’d sure go a whole lot better if she didn’t have to constantly balance that damned handbag on her knees. Don’t panic – rescue is at hand! A new design trend focuses on playful, quirky and OTT solutions to a number of life’s tricky little problems.

functionalism-beautification-lamp-bag hook

  • 1  Lamp from Lladró
  • 2  Bag hook from Alessi
  • 3  Wall decoration from Iittala
  • 4  Teabag from Donkey Products

Exuberant functionalism
Design orbits around the two poles of functionality and beautification. These aspects are sometimes closely interlinked, sometimes less so. Whereas the former is easy to establish objectively, the question of beauty has always been a more subjective area. Ornamentation and opulence have had a hard time of it recently as the ethos of capitalism based on growth is put under ever closer scrutiny. Isn’t anything over and above what is absolutely necessary just profligate extravagance? The question isn’t completely unjustified. But an unqualified answer of “Yes” means missing out on much that makes our everyday lives richer, more pleasant, more communicative, more fun. With its “Mademoiselle Beatrice” hanging lamp, Lladró has created an enchantingly pleated product that only reveals its porcelain nature on closer inspection. And with the bag hook from Alessi, the lady at the bar not only has somewhere to hang her bag, she’s also got an attractive cat mascot to keep her company.


  • 1  Plate from Ceramic Japan
  • 2  Storage container from Ototo Design
  • 3  Fire extinguisher from DNC TAG
  • 4  Sieve from Doiy
  • 5  Kitchen timer from Alessi
  • 6  Cress bowl from Side by Side
  • 7  Egg cup from Peleg Design

Humorous everyday companions
It’s always interesting to consider what actually brings a smile to our lips. Not all playful-looking products appeal to our sense of humour. The kitchen seems to be the place where the trend for fun and quirky objects is particularly in evidence: for instance, Ceramic Japan’s uncompromising transformation of the plate into a comic speech bubble, or the surprising exterior of the ketchup fire extinguisher from DNC TAG. Other objects tell a brief narrative, such as Peleg Design’s egg cup whose knight in armour vividly illustrates the fragility of its occupant. In all these cases, simple household objects become everyday companions that we like to handle, use, care for – and smile with!

summer time-outdoor-pool-flamingo-cute

  • 1  Inflatable drink holder from Doiy
  • 2  Money box from Legami
  • 3  Self-watering flower pot from Seishin Shippon
  • 4  Watering can from Alessi
  • 5  Garden helpers from Monkey Business

Creature comforts
Summer time is garden time. It’s the season for enjoying a huge array of outdoor activities! Gardeners have more fun with the right tools from Monkey Business, while in the pool a dumb waiter dressed up as a pink flamingo swims around and serves drinks. It’s no surprise that animals are used in these quirky objects. They have something cute and slightly awkward about them that makes us smile. Excessive seriousness hasn’t got a chance here – and that’s the best recipe for a successful summer’s day.